I don’t know much … but I know I love you …
News broke yesterday afternoon: we’re holding Matt Hasselbeck out this week due to concussion-like symptoms. In all seriousness, you’re never too careful when you’re talking about football and head injuries. In all frivolity, you gotta figure Hasselbeck’s at an even more of a disadvantage, what with that bald dome of his. Not one iota of hair protecting him from his helmet and all that impact coming straight at him!
What do we know? Well, I know what I THINK I know, and that’s: The New York Football Giants have one of the best 4-man pass rush packages in the game right now. When they’re healthy, their front-four can do more damage than most teams do with six guys. That’s HUGE. It not only allows you more guys in coverage, but it lets you switch up with a lot of zone-type schemes. Send your ends, drop your tackles and throw a couple linebackers at the quarterback; let a guy who’s never started contend with THAT.
Here’s what else I think I know: our offensive line is looking distressingly like last year’s offensive line. Injury Depleted.
2+2 = 4, my friends. This COULD be a case of Great Defense + Terrible Offensive Line = Let’s Sit Hasselbeck Before We Lose Him For The Season.
Do I doubt the veracity of their claims? Not necessarily. I think there’s definite legitimacy to the claims that Hasselbeck is suffering from concussion-like symptoms. However, let’s be real. If this was Week 1 of the Playoffs, SOMETHING tells me that the doctors and/or the coaches and/or Matt Hasselbeck himself would find a way for our starting quarterback to be cleared to play this week.
I’m saying it’s like 70:30. 70% precautionary measures, 30% headaches.
That having been said, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. First of all, I’m convinced we were going to lose this game either way. Not necessarily because I think the Giants are a better team; I just think they’re super hot right now and we’re super injured at key areas (quarterback aside). You put us back at semi-full strength (like the Bears or Cardinals games a few weeks ago) at home against this very Giants team and I think we’ve got as good a chance as any to win. THIS week, under THESE circumstances? Not so much.
T’is better to take your lumps with Hasselbeck on the sideline than t’is with him in the game getting decapitated.
Also, hey, Charlie Whitehurst! Talk about throwing a guy in the fire! Let’s see what the young man can do!
In one deft maneuver, this game has done a 180 from something I was dreading with both eyes squeezed shut to an event I wouldn’t miss for anything. It’s one thing to take a look at the new guy you traded the farm to acquire in the Preseason – and believe you me, I’m all for the Preseason; I LOVE it! – it’s quite another to not only see that same young man start a regular season game, but a home game when your team is actually contending for a playoff spot. This isn’t: The Seahawks are 4-10, let’s throw Whitehurst in there for the last two weeks of a lost cause. This is: The Seahawks are 4-3 and in first place, NOW let’s see how Whitehurst responds when the pressure is on.
And the pressure IS on, make no mistakes. This isn’t just a backup making a start for an injured starter. This is Audition #2. Audition #1 was the first game of the preseason, and I think a lot of us liked what we saw there. #1-b and #1-c weren’t quite as good, but that’s not important right now. At least he’s had his feet wet in preseason games. He’s been in the system all year, he should know the players reasonably well, and he’s semi-mobile with a cannon arm. Let’s just hope Audition #2 is a lot like that Audition #1.
For the record, Audition #3 takes place whenever the team opts to officially make the change and bench Hasselbeck for non-injury reasons. That’s kinda when it’s real. Audition #2, this weekend, could do wonders towards easing the minds of a fragile fanbase who want nothing more than a smooth transition from one Ring of Honor quarterback to the next.
Football Jesus! Comin’ Atcha!
My Prediction: Giants 37, Seahawks 13. Hey now! That means that we scored AH touchdown! Baby steps, little Football Jesus! Baby steps!